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How Do You Take Care Of Your Teeth With Braces?

When your mouth is loaded with extras —bands, brackets, and wires —brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important. Plus, braces interfere with the natural chewing process that normally bathes and exercises gums and helps clean teeth. Caring for your teeth and keeping them cavity-free is a top priority during orthodontic treatment.

While proper-fitting bands or brackets usually protect the covered portion of your teeth, the brackets and wires on the outside of teeth make it harder for the toothbrush to clean between teeth. Trapped food particles and plaque are a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. Gum disease also can develop, causing swelling and making cleaning even more challenging and painful. Improper care can also stain tooth enamel.

How Often Do I Need to Brush?

Preferably within five minutes after you eat anything, whether you're snacking or after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth cavity-free. Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse, or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home.

How Do I Brush My Teeth With Braces?

Brush between wires and gums to loosen any food particles. There are special toothbrushes for this, check with your dentist or orthodontist for recommendations. Start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45 degree angle, toward the gum. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, about ten strokes.

Next, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner. Brush the chewing surfaces. Repeat the same process for the lower teeth as for the upper ones. Rinse your mouth as well as your toothbrush. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure you've brushed all tooth surfaces. Floss daily between braces using a floss threader.

Toothpicks, stimudents, and other interdental devices work well under brackets. You may also want to use a water oral hygiene device(like a Water-Pic) that helps to remove food particles the toothbrush may not reach. It is used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute.

While wearing braces, be sure to schedule regular dental exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

For more information regarding proper dental hygiene, or to book a consulation with a Winnipeg dentist, contact our Winnipeg Dental Clinic.

 

previous article in this section:
Preventing Gum Disease